Welcome to our BERNINA Sew-Along! We sew the beautiful Mirella dress from inspiration magazine. Today you can find the sewing instructions for the dress here. I’ll take you with me every step of the way and show you with lots of pictures how you can sew the beautiful dress with puff sleeves yourself.
In the first post, I introduced you to the pattern, gave an overview of the materials required and explained what you should already prepare. In this article you will also find information about the fabric I used for my dress. It is already finished and ready for the first sunny spring days:
Today the sewing instructions for the dress follow, in which I show you step-by-step and with many pictures how you can sew your own version.
Who performs the Sew-Along?
i am linda Sewing is my great passion, which I regularly share with you on my Instagram account. There you will find a lot of inspiration for self-sewn looks and helpful instructions for various sewing techniques. Feel free to stop by, I look forward to a lively exchange with other sewing enthusiasts 🙂
I have already had the privilege of doing seven more sew-alongs for you on the BERNINA Blog. If you fancy a cuddly teddy jacket, elegant trousers or a trendy jumpsuit, for example, you can have a look at the articles on my past sew-alongs here:
Britt sew-along dress
Sew Along Rock Daisy
Sew-along dress Rosella
Teddy sew-along jacket
Sew-along jumpsuit Maiva
Sew-Along Trousers Sunny
Sew-Along Dress Butterfly
Preparations – Cut the fabric
We start cutting the fabric straight away. So before we start, you should have cut the pattern to your size and washed your fabric.
We cut all pattern pieces with a 1.5 cm seam allowance. Allow 3 cm seam allowance for the hems on the skirt and sleeves. Also transfer all the markings made on the parts to the fabric and also the front and back centers on the two fabric parts for the bodice and the facing parts. The best way to do this is to cut snips into the seam allowance with small fabric or thread scissors. This has the advantage that the markings do not disappear again during the sewing process, as can happen with tailor’s chalk. In any case, make sure that you cut within the seam allowance and don’t make the snaps too deep!
Sewing instructions dress Mirella
Now we are ready to sew our dress! In the following sewing instructions for the Mirella dress, I will show you every step that is needed to get the dress finished. I will also publish detailed instructions for sewing the puffed sleeves in the next blog post, which will be published on March 31, 2023. There will also be a short video on the Instagram account of inspiration magazine. So feel free to stop by there!
Step 1: Reinforce trimmings and upper part
For a better shape of our later upper part, we now iron some parts with fleece line or seam tape. We start with the trimmings. Cut a piece of fleece line from each of the corresponding pattern pieces. Place this with the adhesive side (the rough side) on the wrong side of your trimmings, place an ironing cloth or kitchen towel over it and fix the insert piece by piece for 10 seconds each with your iron.
We also attach seam tape to the front and back sections. This comes on the necklines and armhole edges. Make sure that you omit the darts on the front part. Roughly cut your seam tape for the respective section and then iron it piece by piece over a pressing cloth. The result should look like this:
Step 2: Close darts and shoulder seams
Now we turn to the darts on the front piece. Mark the tip of each, fold the fabric right sides together along the markings of your darts and draw a line for orientation. Now, starting at the outer edge, stitch along the line with your sewing machine. Stitch a few stitches beyond the tip of your dart, let the threads protrude a few centimeters and cut them off. Double knot the ends of the thread and cut the threads back.
To close the shoulder seams, place your front and back pieces on top of each other, right sides together, and topstitch them. Iron the seam allowances apart and neaten them. We also close the seams on the trimmings.
Step 3: Sew on the facing
The next step in our Mirella dress sewing instructions is to sew the trim to the neckline. Pin it right sides together along the neckline. Make sure that the shoulder seams and the markings on the center front and center back are exactly on top of each other. Stitch the trimmings tightly and neaten the outer edge of the trimmings.
So that the trimming does not slip up when worn, we topstitch the trimming again. Sew through all layers of fabric here, just near the edge.
Step 4: Close side seams, sew top and skirt together
Your top is almost done! The next step in our dress sewing instructions is to close the side seams on the bodice and skirt. To do this, first place the front and back pieces on top of each other, right sides together, and pin the side seams. Stitch them together and clean up the seam allowances. Then you put your skirt parts on top of each other right sides together and close the side seams here. Clean up the seam allowances here as well.
Now let’s make two parts one! Turn your top inside out – so that the wrong side of the fabric is on the outside – and the skirt right side out. Pull the top over the skirt and pin the two pieces together at the waist, right sides together. Sew the waist seam and overcast the seam allowance.
Step 5: Sew waist tunnel with elastic
To create the beautiful gathering at the waist of our dress, we sew a tunnel down the wrong side of our waist seam. To do this, take the strip for this tunnel and trim it along the two long edges.
Now lay your dress flat in front of you or put it over your ironing board without stretching it. This is how you put the band for the waist tunnel over your waist seam that you just sewed.
Make sure that the ribbon overlaps the waist seam by about 1 cm at the top edge and that the heads of your pins are not too close to this seam.
Fold the first short side of the ribbon inwards and pin it in place starting at a side seam. Now pin the tape piece by piece. They should fit snugly against the fabric, not too tight and not too loose. Do this until you reach the side seam where you started. Turn the end of the ribbon inside out again and shorten it if necessary.
Now turn your dress right side out and stitch the first long side of your waist band by sewing along your waist seam from the right side of the fabric. This way you won’t have a visible seam later. Start again at the side seam where you started pinning the waist tunnel.
When you have stitched all the way, turn the dress inside out and sew the second long edge of the waistband in place in the same way. It is important that you leave enough space between the two seams so that you can thread your rubber band easily.
This is how it looks from the right side of the fabric: one seam disappears in the shadow of the waist seam, the second seam is visible a little more than 2 cm next to it.
Our waist tunnel is ready! Now you cut a 2 cm wide rubber band in the length of your waist plus approx. 2 cm overhang. Pin a locking pin to one side and insert it with the ribbon into the opening of your waist tunnel. Now carefully push the locking pin piece by piece through the tunnel until you come out at the other end. Make sure that the second end of the tape does not accidentally slip into the tunnel with you. You can fix this to the dress with a pin to be on the safe side.
Once the elastic has been pulled through completely, pin the two elastic ends in place and slip into your dress to test how tight you want your elastic to be at the waist. Once you have found the perfect length for you, sew the ends of the elastic back and forth together using a few zigzag stitches. Let the elastic ends disappear into your tunnel, turn the dress right side out and stitch the elastic once in the middle. To do this, you have to stretch the elastic as far as you sew so that it is just as long as your fabric. This way, the rubber band doesn’t get twisted later in the waist tunnel.
Step 6: Sew sleeves, hem dress
There will be even more detailed instructions for this step on March 31, 2023 in the third blog post of our BERNINA sew-along on the Mirella dress. You can also watch a short video on inspiration magazine’s Instagram account starting today.
Sew the sleeve seams on both sleeves and neaten the seam allowances. To fold the arm caps, sew a ruffle seam. To do this, set your stitch length to 5 and sew without backtacking the seam along the sleeve heads between the markings provided. Now line up the sleeve beads with the help of this seam and insert the sleeves.
Next, hemme your sleeves with a twin needle, leaving an opening to insert an elastic. Here you proceed as with the waist tunnel.
You’re almost there! The last step in our tutorial for the Mirella dress is hemming the skirt. To do this, trim the edge of the hem, fold it over to the left and stitch it with a twin needle. My tip: First, baste the hem by hand or machine with a basting seam – simply select a stitch length of 4 – 5. Now your hem is sitting correctly and you can sew along the basting seam from the right side of the fabric with a twin needle.
Sewing instructions dress Mirella – we’re done!
Done! Your Mirella dress is complete and ready to move into your self-sewn wardrobe. I hope you got along well with my sewing instructions. Feel free to leave me any questions here in the comments or on my Instagram account. I will answer these as soon as possible.